Students express themselves, without pulling punches

Students for Liberty hosted a free speech event on Monday and Tuesday at the Memorial Union by posting a Free Speech Wall made of paper for students and faculty to write down any thoughts or opinions. (Photo by Shawn Raymundo)

University community members got a chance to express their opinions Monday and Tuesday by writing comments on a paper wall set up by Students For Liberty on the Memorial Union North Stage.

The opinions expressed by students, staff and faculty included issues such as economics, religion and politics. People were encouraged to write on the wall with zero limitations, sustainability graduate Grant Gehrlich said.

Most of the comments people wrote on the Free Speech Wall were left anonymous.

One person wrote “Don’t force me to die for you!’ in response to pro-draft comments and another read, “God is slavery.”

While few comments expressed their love for gingers and marijuana, others expressed their dislike for the U.S. government. One person even drew a penis aimed at a drawing of President Barrack Obama.

“There are a lot of comments on here that some people would believe are politically incorrect,” he said, “but everybody takes them with a grain of salt and they either comment on their comment or they go ahead and they post their own thoughts all together.”

ASU’s chapter of the Students for Liberty organization — a group that supports students dedicated to freedom — organized the inaugural event because the group believes everyone’s freedoms and liberties should never be silenced, Gehrlich said.

“(Everyone has) the freedom to speak when they choose to and (they) shouldn’t silence (their) voice because all ideas are important,” he said.

French sophomore Carmen Perez was attracted to the Free Speech Wall because she was interested in seeing what everyone wrote — whether or not she agreed.

“Sometimes (people) see a comment, (they) don’t agree with it, but that’s the whole point,” Perez said.

Anarchists, atheists, religious advocates, drug users and Obama supporters all had their say on the Wall without having to pull any punches, said Carlos Alfaro, ASU’s Students for Liberty campus coordinator.

Alfaro said everybody must not forget their constitutional rights and liberties in the U.S. and it’s important for everyone to be able to speak their mind.

“The cool thing that this wall represents is that we can all get together at one particular freedom,” Alfaro said. “And that’s the freedom to say whatever we want. So we work together through freedom.”

 

Reach the reporter at sraymund@asu.ed
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